Sunland boutique projects find niche market but Gold Coast house-and-land sales slump to 27-year low

Sunland boutique projects find niche market but Gold Coast house-and-land sales slump to 27-year low
Sunland boutique projects find niche market but Gold Coast house-and-land sales slump to 27-year low

There were just 239 sales of vacant residential land and house-and-land packages on the Gold Coast over the September quarter, according to the latest Prodap report.

Of these 239 sales, 56 were house-and-land packages, with vacant lot sales totalling 183.

Report author Bill Morris says the Gold Coast residential land market continues to under-perform, though there are some exceptions, with developer Sunland finding a niche market for its architect-designed homes.

“The real standout was Sunland Group’s four projects at The Glades (Robina), Gardene at Pacific Pines, The Concourse at Royal Pines (Benowa), and The Address at Sanctuary Cove had all but sold out its available stock, with more to be released with strong pre-sales,” says Morris.

“Sunland Group is operating in the mid-price range of $700,000 to $1.1 million for quality three- and four-bedroom products, mainly on golf course frontages."

The other developer to manage reasonable sales was Stockland, which recorded 75 sales on its three land estates at Ormeau Ridge (35), Highland Reserve Upper Coomera (25), and Riverstone Crossing Upper Coomera (15).

Mirvac managed 15 land sales at its Gainsborough Greens development in Pimpama, with prices ranging from $215,000 to $400,000.

Gilston Developments sold 12 townhouses at auction at its Grand Manor estate at the Grand Golf Course, with prices ranging from $595,000 to $1,625,000.

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“Vacant land sales continue to hover under 200 per quarter with no sign of improvement,” notes the report, which is based on a survey of every active and passive developer of residential land, house-and-land packages, townhouses and villas on the Gold Coast.

This brings total sales to 1,001 lots and house-and-land packages sold over the past 12 months to September – the lowest volume of annualised sales for records going back to 1985.

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Despite the record low land sales, the number of lots and house-and-land packages available for purchase remain at historical low levels, with few new projects being launched.

There are currently just 818 lots and 388 new houses up for sale representing one year’s supply at current take-up rates.

While stock is not rising, Morris says residential rents are increasing at 6% per annum south of Broadbeach for four-bedroom houses, with the market "virtually unserviced for new stock", except for Stockland’s Observatory land project at Reedy Creek in West Burleigh.

The report notes there is a pipeline of planned projects comprising 2,848 lots, but Morris says this is “unrealistically positive”, running at three times the current annual sales rate.

Morris says low demand rather than over-supply is the main problem – the result of restrictive bank lending policies.

Other problems facing the Gold Coast new housing market are record low population growth prohibitive local council infrastructure and charges, which are only new being “re-formulated”.

The Gold Coast City Council resolved to impose on a 12-month moratorium on infrastructure charges, which will save developers $28,000 per detached house and $20,000 per one- or two-bedroom apartment.

Larry Schlesinger

Larry Schlesinger

Larry Schlesinger was a property writer at Property Observer

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